iOS vs. Windows 8: Apple and Microsoft have very different world views

“There are a couple factors at play in Microsoft’s decisions to create a single operating system for tablets and PCs. First and foremost, this is Microsoft. The company does not believe in a post-PC world, which you might expect from the folks whose software runs on most PCs,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “Microsoft has a real, business reason to try and keep everyone in the Windows ecosystem, where it dominates, rather than a mobile ecosystem where it’s way behind.”

MacDailyNews Take: Trying to bend reality to fit your world view is a recipe for failure. Self-delusion is not a valid business plan.

“As someone who covers Apple and is used to that company killing its hit products in order to transition to something even better—and as someone who works in an industry with its own challenges—I am predisposed to appreciate businesses that embrace the new rather than opting to squeeze as much money out of the old thing as possible before turning off the lights forever,” Snell writes. “So yes, my instinct is to dislike Microsoft’s PC-centric approach. I understand it, but it feels like denial.”

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Snell writes, “As someone who was excited to see Windows Phone 7’s Metro interface come to a tablet device, I’m disappointed, because it seems what we’re getting is a small Windows PC with a tablet-interface shell floating on top. It just feels like the wrong approach to me, but I’ll say this for Microsoft—it’s consistent.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back on June 1st: Our initial impression is that Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto).

By the time this hybrid spawn of Windows Phone ’07 + Windows 7ista actually ships, one can only dream where Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X will be! For Microsoft, it’ll be more like a nightmare. Perhaps Microsoft will someday put some scare into Google’s Android/Chrome OS, but only time – and a lot of it when measured in tech time – will tell. We simply do not see the world clamoring for the UI of an iPod also-ran now ported to an iPhone wannabe that nobody’s buying to be blown up onto a PC display.

From what we’ve seen so far, Windows 8 strikes us as an unsavory combination of Windows Weight plus Windows Wait.

Not to mention that probably no one on earth knows how much or what kinds of residual legacy spaghetti code roils underneath it all (shudder). Is Microsoft giving up on backwards compatibility? If so, people might as well get the Mac they always wanted. If not, then Microsoft’s unwilling to do what it takes to really attempt to keep up with the likes of Apple or even Apple’s followers. No matter what, if Microsoft’s going to ask Windows sufferers to “learn a whole new computer” (and that’s exactly how they’ll look at it, regardless of how Microsoft pitches it), millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!”

As if they needed it: More good news for Apple.

Related articles:
iOS 5 iPad 2 vs. Windows 8 preview tablet (with video) – September 16, 2011
Microsoft exec: Uh, no, Windows 8 tablets won’t run Windows PC apps – September 15, 2011
Analyst: Whatever success Microsoft has with Windows 8 will be short-lived – September 13, 2011
Corporate America to Microsoft: We’ll pass on Windows 8 – September 9, 2011
WSJ’s Mossberg reviews Mac OS X Lion: ‘The best computer operating system’ – July 21, 2011
Researchers: Apple’s Mac OS X Lion is the king of security – July 21, 2011
Microsoft developers horrified over Windows 8 preview – June 13, 2011
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. No. Windows 8 is just another copy of Apple’s architecture.

    Remember that Windows 8 for ARM and Windows 8 for Intel are two different operating systems. Windows 8 for ARM is stripped of all legacy support and runs only Metro Apps. Sounds a bit like iOS doesn’t it?

    Windows 8 is a just a revised version of Windows 7 that adds the Metro UI in place of the Start menu. Sounds a little like LaunchPad on Mac OS X Lion, doesn’t it?

    While it is true that the Intel version of Windows 8 will run the same Metro Apps as the ARM version, Mac OS X could run iOS apps if Apple wanted it to. There is no technical limitation preventing this.

    What Microsoft’s Windows 8 strategy shows is that, starting with Ivy Bridge and culminating in Haswell, Intel chips will be power efficient enough to run a tablet. In this scenario, having a tablet that performs double duty as a PC will be practical. So, Microsoft has shown us what it will be doing in late 2012 and beyond.

    But remember this folks, we haven’t yet seen what Apple’s solution will be. In my opinion, Lion is the start of a harmonization of iOS and Mac OS X, one that will be done more elegantly than Windows 8 with it’s legacy UI mode. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, don’t we?

    1. While it is true that the Intel version of Windows 8 will run the same Metro Apps as the ARM version, Mac OS X could run iOS apps if Apple wanted it to. There is no technical limitation preventing this.

      Wrong. There is a technical limitation.

      iOS apps are compiled for ARM. Mac OS X apps are compiled for Intel. To run apps on the other platform, a recompile is needed, as Apple does not have a “Universal” app format like they did for PPC & Intel. Also, apps are optimized for the interface – touch or mouse pointer. (The not being intended for touch is one of the problems with Flash on tablets.)

      Presumably, Win8 apps will run on ARM or Intel, not both, unless MS either develops their own “Universal” or makes it easy for developers to compile one code base for both platforms. Even then, the interface issues of touch vs. mouse will remain.

      Maybe Intel powered tablets will make it to market, but for now, ARM rules. If ARM still rules by the time Win8 arrives, I predict a lot of Windows lusers being confused while apps run on some but not all of the Win8 Devices.

      1. Fat binaries are ubiquitous in the Apple world. They are what allow 32-bit and 64-bit apps to reside in the same install. They are also what allow iPhone and iPad apps to reside in the same install. It is completely within Apple’s technical arsenal to provide a fat binary compile to allow iOS apps to run natively in Mac OS X. Alternatively, Apple could easily incorporate an ARM interpreter layer to Mac OS X, thereby allowing iOS apps to run without a recompile. This is how iOS app development is performed, afterall.

        To be clear, Metro apps will not run natively. Like WebOS apps, they are just fancy, locally hosted web apps or .Net JIT compiled runitme apps. This provides the advantage of making them chip agnostic while providing native OS level integration. There is a performance hit however, one that Apple is unwilling to accept, at least on ARM based systems…

          1. No worries. Sorry if my language was confusing 🙂

            Fat binaries are just files that contain multiple compiled versions of a piece of software in a single .app file. For example, so called universal apps are fat binary files that contain both Intel and PPC code in the same file. Likewise iTunes is a fat binary which contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the app in the same file. Similarly, universal iOS apps contain iPhone and iPad versions in a single file. X-Code automatically compiles applications into fat binaries when they are specified to target multiple Apple OS platforms.

            1. @Johnny, a true universal iOS application is actually two separate but closely related apps, one for the iPhone/iPod Touch and one for the iPad. They are separate executables with different UI’s that share common underlying functionality. In iOS, such universal apps are packaged in a fat binary so that both apps can be purchased/downloaded together as a single app. At runtime, iOS decides which app to run based upon whether iOS is running on an iPhone/iPod Touch or an iPad.

            2. Personally, I was glad you used your terminology. It’s one of the reasons I like to read the comments. How else am I going to learn tech lingo? I thought you made a good point too (I wouldn’t have seen it, if not for your technical explanation – thanks!!).

        1. Good call, pjs. iOS apps could easily be set up to run in OS X, and I believe that the natural convergence of the two OS’s is underway. The difference is that Apple will only pursue that convergence where it makes sense. Microsoft will push for a Windows PC in every device.

      2. Shhh don’t tell all the people that test there apps on their Macs. Developers already use a virtual machine to run Apps on iOS. Using a virtual machine isn’t really an issue since core processors are much more powerful then ARM chips.

  2. I’m sure they’ll sell a few million Windows H8 tablets before the “WTF, I coulda had an iPad” factor kicks in. Mostly selling to the erector set geek/nerd crowd who love to (s)tinker. And yes this may give many the fnal justification many need to abandon PCrap and embrace Apple nirvana. Windows H8 may well be Ballmer’s Waterloo.

  3. I installed the developer “preview” of windows 8 on vmware fusion

    I know its mostly about getting the dev tools in our hands but the experience is um, well they have serious work ahead of them.

    i felt running it that it was very unusable as a desktop OS, and if i had this version on a tablet im not sure id want to run any legacy windows apps.

    its a jarring experience, go to the desktop and it looks like windows, hit the start button and you get tossed back into metro. The preview feels bipolar in operation.

    its not a copy of anything Apple is doing because a frankenstein monster like this is not anything apple would build let alone demo.

    Been a long time windows user and dev. Been programming on wondows since visual c 1.5.

    I used to run mediacenter now i have an aTV, had a server running windows 2008 R2 now I run freenas.

    I just bought 2 new macs in the last 2 weeks and cleared out the crap at home. Ive got one machine left running windows 7.

    I am the type of customer MS needs and ive just moved to the mac for my primary computing needs.

    MS was so busy copying apple they didn’t see the big picture and what they have accomplished is little more than strapping themselves to a gurney that apple will use to administer a lethal injection.

    1. I also have to agree. I used to use Visual C back in the 1.5 days (which came on a knee deep stack of floppies), and once I actually used a Mac regularly I realized what Microsoft was selling was a cheap knock of what they’d taught me to shun. Talk about having blinders put on you, eh?

    2. “they have accomplished is little more than strapping themselves to a gurney that apple will use to administer a lethal injection.”

      @dude. LMFAO! What an awesome metaphor! I’m gonna re-use it when I taunt my Windows suffering colleagues…

  4. Wanna know what I think? Yeah. F*** Microshaft and the horse it rode in. What has Microshit brought to the table lately in terms of moving the computing experience forward? Windows 7? Give me a break. I have that shit installed in the Boot Camp partition on my Mac and it sucks donkey balls. We still use XP at work. I don’t know. Other people use XP. I’m on my MBP. Occasionally I boot into Windows 7 for some obscure shit program that wasn’t ported to a Mac. I was an XP user before migrating the hell out of Microshaft’s universe. Glad I left that shit behind. Windows 8? F*** that shit. Ain’t gonna happen.

  5. “Trying to bend reality to fit your world view is a recipe for failure.”

    Not true. How else do you think Steve Jobs built a multi-billion dollar company?

  6. one of the reasons (not the only one) that I converted to Apple is because it used to be rather exclusive, without becoming nerd ware.
    Looks like by this time next year I need to get a windows 8 PC just to be exclusive, as Apple will be mainstream by then.

  7. Not all Apple fans agree with you.

    iOS is great on my iPhone, but it disappoints in the iPad. I’m mostly a content-creator, so iOS doesn’t allow me the full range of things I need for my business computing.

    iOS on iPad is great for you guys that just send a few emails, and surf websites and tweet all day. And also for businesses where it is content consumption or content presentation – and there are lots of businesses that need that.

    But I would love to have a tablet that can be with me all the time, and – when needed – I can work on my office work on the go.

    So don’t think just because iPad is fun times for you that it meets everyone’s needs. Not everyone has gotten an iPad. Remember that. For me, iPhone meets my mobile needs. For a tablet, I need something more akin to a desktop on a tablet, and Microsoft seems to be heading that way.

    All this Jobsian stuff of simplifying – that’s great the tweeters, surfers and content-consumers, but it doesn’t meet everyone’s needs.

    In many of the polls, Windows 8 gets around a 60% approval rating.

    I was around when Mac OS was king, before Windows 95 came out. People thought Mac would never be dethroned. People ridiculed Windows when it came out. I saw Windows 1 and 2 and it was garbage compared to Mac.

    Look, I love iOS on iPhone, but it doesn’t meet my needs for mobile computing. I have had to therefore get a MacBook Air so I can create content.

    Also, Apple’s garbage of not providing matte screens on the MBA and MBP13 is ridiculous.

    Right now, I have all my data in OS-independent form, and all my email data and archives in IMAP, so I can switch to Win8, or even run it at the same time as Mac, at any time.

    Not saying Win 8 is going to be great, but it’s worth watching to see how it develops.

    Win 8 does not have to be superior to OSX/iOS. It just has to be good enough to meet the needs of users who need more than iPad’s content-consumption environment. And if MS can do that, they will prevail simply because of their numbers, and number of partners.

    1. I appreciate your perspective as a developer. I configure specialized software builds on computers for students with disabilities (on Macs).

      I do have an iPad, though, for my own work tasks (taking data on my students, documenting my work, creating content). Mind you, I don’t twitter, Facebook, or surf; my iPad is strictly a work computer, and I am very happy with it. This is the perspective of an educator.

      When creating supports for my students, though, I use Macs (OS X is hard to beat for accessibility for developmental disabilities). I expect IOS will develop some of the functionality I need for my students (it has grown to meet my other needs).

    2. I mentioned this issue last week.


      There are a few neat applications – mostly APPLE themselves lead the pack here. KEYNOTES / NUMBERS / PAGES – iDRAW etc… on the iPAD they come darn close to good content creation tools IN MY OPINION and compare well to a desktop or laptop experience – yet NOT AS POWERFUL right – agreed.

      THE KEY to me for the success of iPAD is ultra simplicity. Its a different market altogether – iPAD can replace a laptop and a desktop TO MORE THEN 70% of computer users BECAUSE…
      most people BROWSE – CHAT – RESEARCH – LOOK at VIDEOS – LISTEN TO MUSIC. ITS a beautiful machine but it CAN NOT BE
      the machine to EVERYONE.

      FOR YOU and I – who need a say – more serious creation tool on the go – THIS IS WHY MAC BOOK PRO and MAC BOOK AIR are for SALE. IT’s A SEPARATE MARKET and for excellent reasons.

      I prefer the MAC universe. I rather things to WORK and CONCENTRATE on my creations then to TINKER with the system and hotrod things. BUT if you even tinkering and modifying computers and rolling around in those areas for fun or business THEN enjoy WIN8.

      HERES my biggest beef – WHY WOULD YOU WANT a touch TABLET to make things? DO you not find the mouse far more accurate. I pen like wacom for illustrator is good on some tools but not all. I am more productive faster and far more accurate with the mouse.

      Speech wil be faster soon then touch. WHen APPLE get full SPEECH working to command a iPHONE or iPAD touch is done.
      WELCOME the DICK TRACY days.

      1. @Waterfall…I wonder… is this you mode of speaking or say ” typing” in everyday life? Cuz it seems rather Anal or “douchebag” kind of writing. Thanks for sharing.

  8. decisions to create a single
    operating system for tablets and PCs

    – use HTML5 / KILL FLASH agree which what APPLE is doing
    – ARM processors soon WE SEE now why APPLE choose this
    – no not all APPLICATIONS work on TABLET hmmmm why

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